Probable Vertical Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2020 Sep;39(9):e257-e260. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002821.


Background: To date, although neonatal infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronovirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been described, none of these have been proven to be the result of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: We describe the probable vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a neonate born to a mother with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Results: Following cesarean section, the neonate was kept in strict isolation. Molecular tests for SARS-CoV-2 on respiratory samples, blood, and meconium were initially negative, but positive on a nasopharyngeal aspirate on the third day of life. On day 5, the neonate developed fever and coryza, which spontaneously resolved. Viral genomic analysis from the mother and neonate showed identical sequences except for 1 nucleotide.

Conclusion: This report has important implications for infection control and clinical management of pregnant women with COVID-19 and their newborns.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus / pathogenicity*
  • COVID-19
  • Cesarean Section
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2